’70s British Punks Against the National Front

Anti-fascist history time: a story about punk rock, Rock Against Racism, the National Front, and the Anti-Nazi League in 1970s Britain.

‘See Them Ah Come, But We Nah Run’ – A view from the ground of campaigning against the National Front

Colin Revolting

April 1978 In the middle of 70,000 young people who’ve come to rock against racism, me and two school friends join everyone around us singing, “Sing if you’re glad to be gay…” If we dared utter these words at school we’d be beaten up – which is what happened to two lads caught kissing in the bushes. There’s no sense of threat in this crowd today, singing along with Britain’s first openly gay pop star Tom Robinson. We’ve marched five miles from Trafalgar Square waving Anti-Nazi League lollipop placards to be part of this Carnival Against the Nazis and we will be leaving having expressed our solidarity with gay people. What an amazing day.

Leaving the area is not so much fun. As hundreds of coaches pull away from Victoria Park handfuls of racists crawl out of pubs to heckle the thousands leaving. They are hardly brave to shout at departing vehicles, but the three of us have lost our gang of school friends so we slip past the racists searching for a bus home to South East London. Meanwhile skinheads in a pub in Deptford make one of the local punk bands play “Happy Birthday” for Adolf Hitler. The majority of Deptford voters put their cross against anti-immigrant Nazi parties in the 1976 local elections. People are divided.   May 1978 Our 6th Form is 98% white. Racism is not as bad as it was in lower years, but there’s fear and ignorance about immigration.

Inspired by the carnival, me and some school friends agree to leaflet Eltham High Street against the NF. We meet outside the library (we are sixth formers) and an ANL man arrives on a motorbike with a pile of leaflets. As we hand them out some people are hostile, some welcome the leaflets and most don’t react at all. One bloke sees the swastika on the leaflet say National Front is a Nazi Front and sees red. “I fought against the Nazis in the war,” he spits. “We’re Anti-Nazis,” we say. “I don’t care what kind of Nazis you are, bugger off!” When we manage to clear up the confusion and he tells us about chalking slogans on the streets in the 1930s against Mosley’s Blackshirts and sticking posters on the backs of buses.

Click here for the rest of Part One, and here for Part Two.

Posted in Culture, Music, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , ,

Fascists, neo-Confederates, and U.S. Communists in Moscow

Three Way Fight is reporting that the International Action Center (founded as a front group for the crypto-Trotskyist sect the Workers World Party) recently attended a Moscow conference along with Far Right groups like the white nationalist League of the South and the Eurasian Youth Union, a fascist Duginist group.

“Moscow conference draws fascists, neo-Confederates, U.S. leftists”

For decades, some far right opponents of the U.S. empire have been trying to make common cause with leftists. They got another opportunity in December 2014 at an international conference in Moscow on the “Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and Building a Multi-Polar World.” The conference was organized by the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR). Participants included U.S. leftists from the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and the International Action Center (IAC) — both of which are closely associated with the Workers World Party — alongside Russian and Italian fascists and U.S. white nationalists from the neo-Confederate group League of the South.

It’s worth looking at this convergence in some detail as it speaks to an important pitfall confronting leftists involved in anti-imperialist coalitions. UNAC and IAC articles about the Multi-Polar World conference portrayed it as a progressive event against war, racist violence, and repression. The IAC reported, “Major themes of the discussion were the US-backed war against the people of Donetsk and Lugansk in eastern Ukraine, the expansion of NATO into the former Soviet Union and economic war against Russia, Venezuela and Iran, and the ongoing uprising against racism and police brutality in the United States.” Neither IAC nor UNAC mentioned that a number of far right groups were represented. UNAC did note that attendees included Israel Shamir, “a leading anti-Zionist writer from Israel,” but didn’t mention that Shamir is also a notorious antisemite. Read the rest of the article at Three Way Fight

Posted in Events, Russia, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tues, Feb 3: Letter-writing for antifa prisoner Jason Hammond

from NYC Anarchist Black Crossjason-hammond-trading-card

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
 WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)

NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Free

We did it, NYC! We survived the storm of the century a regular winter snow storm. NYC ABC is not known for backing away from supporting our imprisoned comrades, regardless of weather or other reasons, and this week will be no different. We are focusing this week’s letter-writing dinner on recently imprisoned anti-fascist Jason Hammond.

Jason Hammond pleaded guilty, while refusing to provide information on others, to state charges against him for participation in an organized direct action taken against a group of white supremacists in May 2012 in Tinley Park, Illinois. Jason is currently serving a sentence of nearly three and a half years in an Illinois state prison. More information: freejasonhammond.blogspot.com.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Jason:

Jason Hammond M50190
Stateville Correctional Center
Post Office Box 112
Joliet, Illinois 60434

The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the PP/POW Birthday Calendar.

Directions:
Getting to The Base is simple:
From the M Train:
Central Avenue Stop: Walk east on Myrtle Avenue (away from Hart Street, toward Cedar Street). We’re about two blocks down on the south side of the street.

Knickerbocker Avenue Stop: Walk west on Myrtle Avenue (away from Harman Street, toward Himrod Street). We’re about three blocks down on the south side of the street.

From the L Train:
DeKalb Avenue Stop: Walk south on Stockholm Street (away from Wyckoff Avenue, toward Irving Avenue). We’re about four blocks down, at the intersection of Stockholm Street and Myrtle Avenue.

From the J Train:
Myrtle Avenue Stop: Transfer to the M train and follow the above directions.

Posted in Uncategorized

Coalition of more than 40 NYC community groups calls on City Council to cancel delegation to Israel

Eamon Murphy

photo-10

David Galarza, member of the Justice Committee of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights, speaks at rally calling on New York City Council members to cancel a delegation to Israel as Conor Tomás Reed of CUNY for Palestine holds the pictures of the Baker boys killed in Gaza. (Photo: Eamon Murphy)

A coalition of more than 40 New York City community groups held a press conference outside City Hall on Monday calling for the City Council to cancel a planned delegation to Israel. A diverse group of speakers addressed the city’s progressive politicians, asking how they could reconcile their opposition to racism and state violence at home with support for Israel’s policies against the Palestinians. Continue reading

Posted in New York City, Palestine, Solidarity | Tagged ,

City Council Power Over Broken Windows Policing

City Council Member press conference in support of the NYPD (photo: William Alatriste)

City Council Member press conference in support of the NYPD (photo: William Alatriste)

Nick Malinowski

While specific incidents involving police violence – from the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, to the death of Eric Garner on Staten Island – have been highlighted in protests all over the country since the summer, some commentators have attempted to contextualize the unrest. They detail what many describe as the daily injustices, especially in black communities, suffered by residents in their routine interactions with the police. Continue reading

Posted in New York City | Tagged , ,